Andrew Bogut Rehab Update: How Worried Should Warriors Fans Be?

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 17, 2012

Mar 16, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut talks during an introductory press conference before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

It's too bad NBA games aren't won in a lap pool or on an exercise bike. If they were, Golden State Warrior fans would feel a lot better about the "progress" of center Andrew Bogut.

In a video interview with Warriors radio voice Tim Roye, Bogut described his rehabilitation process from his native Australia. In that conversation, Bogut dropped the quiet bombshell (if there is such a thing) that he's still not able—or medically cleared—to perform basketball activities. Well, I guess that's not so bad. I mean, it's probably for the best that he isn't doing full-court sprints, banging down low and dunking through contact. Safety first, after all.

But here's the problem: for Bogut, those things aren't technically "basketball activities." In this case, when he says he's not allowed to perform basketball activities, it means Bogut's not even allowed to run. With training camp six weeks away, that's a problem.

Further deepening fans' trepidation, Bogut wouldn't put a percentage on his health, either. He emphasized that he felt good, but admitted that he was only recently cleared to lightly jog. He spends a fair amount of his day doing pool workouts, walking on a low-gravity treadmill and shooting free-throws, if the video is any guide.

Look, Bogut's got some time to get healthy, and he certainly shouldn't be rushed, but this progress report can't be described as anything but discouraging. After getting a much more positive update about Stephen Curry on Wednesday, this news will certainly temper some enthusiasm.

If Bogut can't contribute right away for the Warriors, for whom every game is going to matter as they try to sneak into the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture, the team's postseason plans might never get off the ground. There's no getting around it: Golden State needs a healthy Andrew Bogut to have a shot at the playoffs. Without him, there's almost no chance they'll make it.

Of course, that's the risk the Warriors knowingly took when they traded for Bogut. And as they say, "buyer beware."

The next step in the process—and hopefully the next opportunity to hear some good news—comes on Labor Day, when Bogut visits his surgeon in Los Angeles. That meeting will determine how many restrictions Bogut will have to abide by in the next phase of his rehab, which will take place in Oakland at the Warriors' training facility. You can bet the Warriors' brass have their fingers crossed for the outcome of that exam.

If Bogut's allowed to ramp up his recovery by running, or even playing some actual basketball, there'll be a massive collective exhale from fans and front office alike. If the news is as disappointing as what we learned on Friday, it might be time to scale back expectations on the 2012-13 season.